Re: Reflections on the election and implications for the OVC

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Wed Nov 03 2004 - 17:00:41 CST


> Alan told me a long time ago that MIT/Caltech project had proposed
> back in 2001 a system comparable to his, but they withdraw it when
> Alan complained they were stealing his idea. I have been wondering
> what would have happened if Alan had encouraged MIT/Caltech rather
> than complaining about it. Would MIT/Caltech have built such a
> system?
You are oversimplifying this. Besides, your question is absolutely
pointless. What if David Dill had joined my effort 2 years ago? It's all
water under the bridge. Meaningless.

For the record, I first contacted the CalTech/MIT team in Jan of 01. I
offered to work with them. They could have had my idea for next to nothing
at that time. In Feb of 01, I wrote to the presidents of Caltech and MIT
(Baltimore and Vest) and the president of Carnegie (Vartan Gregorian -- they
were supporting the Caltech/MIT project). A long dialog ensued with
Carnegie that eventually proved fruitless.

In JAN 03, they issued this report:

>From our MAR 1 04 NSF proposal:
     In their project update of January 2003, they state that
     in the summer of 2001 they published "Voting: What Is,
     What Could Be," their first major report on the
     problems in the electoral process. They also
     announced the development of an architecture "that
     would allow election administrators to use school
     computers as voting machines."

I complained about them using my idea without attribution. I would have
been glad to work with them at that time. In fact, the CalTech/MIT team was
never able to agree on an architecture. Selker wanted to build voting
machines from Playstation 2 boxes. Selker never wanted paper. And on and

Alan D.
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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:06 2004

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